We would like to thank the public for their continued support in using our services wisely and keeping 999 for emergencies only.

Ahead of yesterday’s, (11 January), industrial action, undertaken in our region by the GMB Union, between 00:01 and 23:59, we worked closely with the union and all staff to ensure we continued to respond to our most seriously unwell or injured patients and that the impact of any industrial action on our patients was kept to a minimum.

We would also like to thank our staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment, including colleagues who, while participating in industrial action, continued to respond to patients in line with the arrangements agreed with our local GMB union branch.

Our thanks also goes to NHS colleagues and other partners, including hospital teams, for their continued efforts in ensuring patients are able to be handed over at hospitals in as timely a manner as possible.

The public can continue to help us manage the demand placed on our services in the coming days and weeks by only calling 999 in an emergency.

Anyone not facing an emergency who cannot wait to speak to their own GP, can seek advice from a local community pharmacist or establish the best options for their needs via NHS 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk in the first instance, unless the issue concerns a child under 5, when they should call 111.

Help and advice is also available at www.nhs.uk.

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

  • heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than 15 minutes)
  •  sudden unexplained shortness of breath
  •  heavy bleeding
  •  unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
  •  traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if:

  • you think the patient’s illness or injury is life-threatening
  • you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital
  • the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel